Clinical and microbiologic characteristics of tcdA-negative variant clostridium difficile infections
Analysis of both the antibiotic resistance and the virulence characteristics of anaerobic human microbial pathogens is important in order to improve our understanding of a number of clinically significant infectious diseases, including Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD). We determined the presence of the clindamycin resistance-associated gene ermB and the ribotype of 33 C. difficile strains isolated from Polish patients suffering from CDAD. While all strains produced cytotoxin B (TcdB), enterotoxin A (TcdA) was produced by a subset of 15 strains only. The results showed that a single ermB-positive, TcdA(-)B(+) C. difficile strain with ribotype A has disseminated widely in the two Warsaw hospitals under investigation. Although different strains with the same phenotype were detected, the genotype A strain appeared to be the only one with a clear epidemic character. Apparently, enhanced local spread of CDAD-causing C. difficile may be restricted to a limited number of bacterial genotypes only.